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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered the Russian government to pay 29,000 euros ($32,000) in damages to a man imprisoned in Moldova's breakaway republic of Transdniester.

The Strasbourg-based court ruled on February 23 that Russia had violated various rights of a Moldovan man arrested in Transdniester in 2008 and that he was subject to inhuman or degrading treatment.

However, it said the European Convention on Human Rights hadn't been violated by Moldova.

The court also ruled that the facts complained of fell within the jurisdiction of both Moldova and of Russia.

Pro-Russian Transdniester declared independence from Moldova in 1990 and fought a separatist war in 1992. Transdniester's independence has not been recognized by any state.

Russia maintains about 1,200 troops in the separatist region, despite Moldova's repeated request that they be withdrawn.

With reporting by AP
Seitqazy Mataev, chairman of the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan, in December 2012

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an international press rights group, has expressed concerns about the February 22 detention in Almaty of Seitqazy Mataev, the head of the Kazakh Journalists Union and the chairman of the National Press Club.

Mataev and his son Aset Mataev, who is the director of the KazTAG news agency, were detained for questioning on February 22.

Kazakhstan's Anticorruption Agency said later that Seitqazy Mataev was suspected of embezzling and tax evasion and could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

He remained in custody on February 23 but has not been formally charged.

The CPJ in a statement urged the Kazakh authorities to either produce evidence supporting the allegation that Mataev and his son had committed a crime, or "immediately stop harassing the two, and refrain from leveling unfounded accusations against journalists in an effort to intimidate them."

Aset Mataev, who was released on February 22 after being interrogated for several hours, told RFE/RL that all the accusations were politically motivated.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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